NPP MPs vindicate Mahama with calls for Ofori-Atta’s sack

John Mahama Prays At Church .jpeg John Dramani Mahama is the former president of Ghana

Tue, 25 Oct 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

GhanaWeb Feature

Voila! seems to be the term that the former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, might be singing at this very moment.

It’s a simple mathematical case of the news that is quickly making rounds of the rather surprising call by some Members of Parliament from the governing party’s side for the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to be sacked.

And how the former president becomes relevant in all of these is because he had made several calls in the last year or so for the sitting president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to sack his chief financial officer.

Earlier, a group of New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo to sack the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, and the Minister of State at the finance ministry, Adu Boahen, as a way of restoring public confidence in the economy.

Their spokesperson, Andy Kwame Appiah-Kubi, who is the Member of Parliament for Asante-Akim North said it will not do business with government nor support the 2023 Budget should the president fail to heed their calls.

"We have had occasions to defend allegations of conflicts of interest, lack of confidence, and trust against the leadership of the Finance Ministry.

“The recent development within the economy is of major concern to our caucus and our constituents. We have made our grave concern to our president through the parliamentary leadership and the leadership of the party without any positive response,” Andy Appiah Kubi said.

So, is this a vindication of all the times John Dramani Mahama has called for the Minister of Finance to be taken off the job?

Here in this article, GhanaWeb brings back a few of those moments when the former Head of State called for the action to be taken on the country’s finance minister.

May 3, 2022: Sack Ofori-Atta without delay

At the start of the month of May 2022, John Dramani Mahama called on the president to sack Ken Ofori-Atta with immediate effect.

His reasons were that the minister had failed at managing the economy of the country.

Speaking in a lecture on May 2, 2022, titled ‘Ghana At A Crossroads,’ he stated that people responsible for plunging the country into an economic crisis cannot be left to go scot-free.

He cited Ken Ofori-Atta in particular of using his private company to benefit from every borrowing it does on behalf of the country.

John Mahama further charged President Akufo-Addo to appoint a finance minister who will serve the national interest rather than his self-interest.

“Those directly responsible for the economic crisis must bear responsibility and it is inconceivable that the Minister of Finance remains at post, having presided over the worst economic meltdown in Ghana’s recent history.

“The President must, without further delay, relieve the finance minister of his position and appoint someone who is focused on national rather than self-interest and who has the requisite skill, experience, and knowledge of public financial management in his stead.

“The personal benefit that the current minister and his cronies derive from borrowing on our behalf through the commissions taken by his companies who serve as transaction advisers raises an unacceptable conflict of interest situation which must end immediately,” John Mahama said.

July 1, 2022: Sack Ofori-Atta and stop borrowing

In July, the former president again made the same call: sack Ken Ofori-Atta as Minister of Finance.

Delivering an address on the state of the Ghanaian economy at the inaugural launch of Think Progress Ghana in Accra on Thursday, June 30, 2022, Mahama painted a gloomy picture of the economy.

He said the public debt had exceeded GH₵400billion if debts on the books of some SPVs and statutory funds, which the government seeks to exclude, were factored in.

This, he noted, translated into a debt to GDP ratio of over of 80%, well beyond the red line of 70% at which lower middle-income countries are declared as debt distressed.

“We still have the worst credit ratings in the over 20-year rating history of this country while we remain firmly shut out of the international capital market.

“We can no longer afford to dither and fiddle while our economy heads for the precipice. The consequence of that will be too grave to comprehend,” he added.

“Meanwhile it will serve the President well to use some instruments from the presidential tool kit in times of crisis such as this. Fire your finance minister, conduct a major shake-up of Government to remove the many dead woods that have turned ministries into their fiefdoms and finally huddle with the best brains this country must formulate a comprehensive recovery plan for our economy,” the former President counselled.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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